The Q&A Archives: Help with Perennials

Question: I please need advise to give better care to a Aromatica Royal Nemesia. It is planted on a deck-porch of 2nd floor apt-mine. It faces east, has morning sun and shade all afternoon. It is much cooler than the other upper deck facing the west-that area gets really hot-sometimes may burn off blooms when too hot, there.

I planted it in a long planter, and has depth and drainage. The nemesia is all done budding the purple little flowers already in early June. And the stems were not upright, when I bought it. It looked more like a long stemmed plant, with small blossoms grouped together throughout it. It is not doing well. It looks dry at base of plant stems and I don't know where to pinch off old blooms to potentiate new blossoming. One other plant I had planted with it is a blooming of almost lilac colors. It seems to be thriving. What should I do to help nemesia, please? There is plenty of extra room in planter.

The first perennial I need advise with, please, is Campanula carpatica-carpathian bellflower white uniform. It had white blossoms when I bought it. Shortly after it lost all its blooms except just one. It is planted in a large container, thick green plastic. The other is a campanula, I think but it's leaves look like similar to tops of carrots while growing-the tops of the green area. Both plants just look the same as when planted, no growth noted. They just look not right-but staying green; could the soil not be rich enough?. I give all of these one dose of miracle-gro-bloom booster, and will soon again. H.D. gardebn personnel suggested it at time of purchase.They aren't wilting--just don't look happy-just at a standstill. Should I dig them out and give new miracle -gro potting soil, as I usually do?

The last perennial I please need advise for is: Delphinium grandiflorum-LARKSPUR SUMMER BLUES. It is planted alone, in another pot container-and it has some blooming blue little bells-but doesn't seem to be flourishing or growing.

Answer: Nemesia 'Aromatica Royal' grows 12-14 inches high, and 10-12 inches wide. It grows in full sun to part shade and blooms from spring until frost. It prefers moist, organic, well drained soil and appreciates a light feeding every two weeks. (I use a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro or Peter's). If you remove the spent flowers, the plant will look neat and tidy and will flower even more prolifically.

If your plant looks puny, it could be simply a sign of transplant stress. Watering it when the top of the soil begins to dry should help the roots become firmly established, which should help its overall appearance and productivity.

There are several types of campanula and the foliage looks different on each one so I don't think that is a symptom of a problem. Campanula will grow in full sun to part shade so the site sounds good for them. They will rebloom if you cut off the spent flowers (or the flowering stem). It takes a few weeks for rebloom.

Your delphinium will produce a single stalk of flowers; if you cut the stalk down when the flowers are spent, it may send up two smaller stalks and bloom later for you.

Plants that are not thriving, even when being regularly watered and fed, are usually reacting to the growing environment or even the soil. You may want to repot them in fresh potting soil and set them where they get morning sun and afternoon shade. Let's hope they perk up soon!

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